Overcoming

     The final five chapters in the book of Judges are highly disturbing. For 147 verses we are compelled to witness humanity at its worst. I care not to go into detail, except to repeat the closing line of the book: “…each person did what they thought to be right” (Judges 21:25, CEB).
     Taken at face value, this statement champions the cause of the libertarian. What is missing, however, are the final two words, for himself. The completed sentence reads: “…each person did what they thought to be right for himself or herself.”
 
     Of course, were everyone to put this mantra into practice chaos would result. If chaos isn’t itself bad enough, God is opposed to chaos. (Read chapters one and two of Genesis.) God, too, is opposed to the characteristics of chaos, such as selfishness, greed, cruelty, pettiness, vanity, and deceit.
 
     However, chaos is what transpired on what we call Good Friday. Everything about that day was chaotic. From the injustice of the accusations charged against Jesus, to the mockery of the kangaroo court he faced, to the horror of his brutal execution on the cross. Chaos is terrifying. But so, too, is grace.
 
     I recently read about a man who was involved in a serious car accident. During his recovery, the man’s wife faithfully performed all kinds of intimate services as she nursed him back to full strength. When the man finally recovered, he divorced his wife simply because she was a continual reminder of his weakness and dependency.
 
     You and I are no different. We resist being loved unconditionally. We prefer to be deserving of love. And yet, at Calvary, the God of perfect love revealed in Jesus Christ embraced the horror of chaos for the sake of overcoming our selfish resistance and restoring order, justice, and peace to our world.
 
     The late Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness.
Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate.
Only love can do that.
 
     To such a noble declaration, there is only one thing left to say. Amen.